It is not often one gets to participate in a triathlon (a real one) on a Tuesday. It's not often that triathlon is also at 6pm. So combining those two things, a beach start and the promise of shaking babies and kissing hands with some of the biggest motorsport names in the area was just too much for little old me.
At the CMS TT last week I got the chance to talk to Derek and he said he was going to race as well. So this meant we'd get to throw down again after going 1-1 at Stumpy Creek and Challenge NA. The Big German was signed up as well as Zack Capets so I figured there'd be some good competition even on a Tuesday night race.
The day of the race dawned bright and relatively early and after most (most?) of a workday I made my way down to Cane Creek Park, which takes approximately forever to get to no matter where you are coming from (unless, by some awful coincidence, you LIVE down there! Sorry Starkey and Fletch).
It rained virtually the entire drive and while setting up it continued to rain. Luckily, by the time the race started it had been clear and dry for about an hour which meant that the roads were, for the most part, dry. This is a good thing as it means
1) Not unsafe
2) I don't have to clean my bike
I got to say hello to various people doing the race that I've gotten to know and got in the way of some of the shots the videographers were taking of Jimmie, who racked next to me.
|He's won some stuff too|
|Obligatory Side Shot (OSS)|
|Unfortunately I don't have any candid shots of myself from pro photogs|
|Google image search is an amazing engine|
Swim - 6:55 - 2nd
I knew Derek was going to go full gas and try and drop me with that extra swimmer gear he has. What I did not realize, however, was how much FASTER a guy to my right was going to take it out. This guy had like a 10 yard gap in the first 10 yards. It was pretty impressive. Unfortunately for him, by the time we rounded the first buoy I was slapping him all over the place before moving around him to latch onto Derek's feet, who came past on my left. That guy blew up, REALLY HARD. Oh well. Through the middle section I was able to stick on Derek's feet but by the time we rounded the last buoy he was putting some gap on me and I exited the water about 10 yards back.
T1 - :24.5
T1 was a pretty long run up a hill to a parking lot (I think the timing mat must have been past the beach due to how short T1's time was and how long the swim's time was) but both Derek and I made our way through it expeditiously.
Bike - 31:01 - 1st
Derek got out a wee bit ahead of me but I passed him as he was getting into his shoes. Fortunately for me, Derek let me lead him a bit as we made our way around the rolling hills of southern NC. He came past as we were going up a hill about 5 minutes (ish) into the ride. I felt strong today, however, so unlike Stumpy Creek I did not "let" him get away from me.
For the next 20 or so minutes we made some turns, attacked some hill, and turtled some flat sections as we plowed our way through the bike course.
T2 - :19.6
I had a quick T2 and got out on the run course just ahead of the comp.
Run - 18:25 - 2nd
I headed out on the run at a good pace and it wasn't until the first turnaround (there were two turnarounds per lap and there were two laps) that I got a chance to see how much time I had on Derek. It wasn't much, so I kept on pushing. Along the way I saw Steve Hall in 3rd, Binny chasing in 4th (on Ironman Legs), and then Chad sandwiched in between Josh and Jimmie (Nascar drivers apparently make for good athletes, in contradiction to the rumors). I felt good throughout the first lap and continued on pace through the second. It was fun coming through transition area over 4 times throughout the run course as it made it a bit more interesting from a spectator standpoint. Unfortunately for the Nascar drivers, however, there were multiple right-hand turns which meant that for each one they had to make 3 lefts. It slowed them down some, I am sure.
Derek did not slow down, however, so I was forced to continue pushing throughout the second lap crossing the line with a relatively narrow margin of victory over DeKidwell.
Overall I finished in 57:05 to Derek's 57:42 and really enjoyed the race. There was obviously more "attention" on this race due to the involvement of the JJF, JJ himself and his high profile driver/racer/crew buddies. It was definitely pretty cool to see them get involved in the community itself. Unfortunately for them, they don't get the chance to race particularly often (in triathlons) due to the fact that they have no off-weekends.
Hopefully this type of race can take hold but if it was something other than JFF I might be skeptical of its ability to draw a crowd. Over 100 participants raced, which is definitely impressive considering the location and the timing. Plus, the prizes were outstanding. Without going into too much detail, let's just say that the winners got loaded up pretty nicely and the category podiums did well also. Danielle and I also got the opportunity to spray champagne everywhere which is not something that happens often when you are a triathlete at a local race. JJ himself even posted an instagram video on his own page on instagram AND on Facebook! Wow, the fame!!!